Everything listed under: hospital neglect

  • Unsupervised Patient Falls and Fractures Pelvis During Discharge; Hospital Settles

    An elderly patient was being discharged from the hospital following an admission for respiratory difficulties. The patient, who was a high fall risk, was escorted outside the hospital by an aide during discharge. The patient’s daughter was to meet the patient in the front of the hospital. The aide left the patient sitting by herself on a bench just outside the hospital entrance. Before the patient’s daughter arrived, the patient fell and sustained a pelvis fracture. The hospital’s discharge policy required staff to remain with the patient to provide supervision throughout the discharge process until the patient was safely placed into the care of a family member. The patient died two weeks after the fall. The patient’s family sued the hospital for failing to supervise the patient for the duration of the discharge process. The hospital settled the case for a confidential amount.


    Pill Count After Fall
  • Hospital Cuts Off Patient’s Ventilator in Error and Patient Dies; Hospital Settles

    An 88-year old man was admitted to the hospital with respiratory compromise. The patient required respiratory support and was placed on a ventilator. In order for the patient to receive diagnostic testing at the hospital, the patient’s ventilator was placed in “stand by” mode, during which the ventilator was not providing oxygen. When the patient returned from the diagnostic testing, hospital staff did not take the patient’s ventilator out of “stand by” mode for about 15 minutes. Hospital staff later noticed the patient's oxygen level was desaturating, and CPR had to be initiated. The patient was resuscitated but sustained an anoxic brain injury due to oxygen deprivation. The anoxic brain injury caused the patient’s death two days later. The patient’s family made a claim against the hospital, which was settled for a confidential amount before a lawsuit was ever filed.

  • Patient Develops Severe Pressure Ulcers; Hospital and Nursing Home Settle

    An elderly female patient was admitted to a hospital for surgery following a hip fracture at home. On admission, the patient’s skin was intact and she had no pressure ulcers (also called pressure sores, bed sores, or decubitus ulcers). The patient was discharged from the hospital approximately one week later. At the time of discharge, the patient was documented to have three small open areas on her right buttock near the lower back. The patient was discharged from the hospital to a nursing home, which documented the patient to have open “excoriation” on her lower back. The nursing home otherwise assessed the patient as a “low risk for pressure ulcer development.”

    Hip Pressure UlcerTwo days after the patient was admitted to the nursing home, the facility noted the presence of a stage II sacral wound with dimensions of 6 cm x 6 cm with red tissue and drainage. The sacral pressure ulcer deteriorated thereafter. Within a couple of weeks, the ulcer was documented as stage IV with dimensions of 10 cm x 10 cm with significant undermining. While at the nursing home, the patient’s wound continued to deteriorate and became purulent with foul-spelling drainage and tunneling. The pressure ulcer was the source of significant pain and prevented the patient from participating in therapy following the hip fracture for which she was originally hospitalized.

    The patient was later transferred from the nursing home back to the hospital because the pressure ulcer had become infected. The patient had also developed a new pressure ulcer on her left hip. At the hospital, infection of the pressure ulcer was noted to have extended into the left hip hardware. The patient required multiple surgical debridements for the sacral and left hip pressure ulcers. She also experienced what was described in her medical records as “unbearable” pain in her buttock as a result of the sacral ulcer. The patient also required a wound vac and antibiotics. The patient was discharged from the hospital to a new nursing home, where her antibiotic therapy and wound care continued, she received therapy services, and where she remains today.

    We claimed that the hospital and nursing home failed to provide proper pressure ulcer prevention and care. Specifically, the hospital and nursing home failed to turn and reposition the patient as often as was necessary, often left the patient positioned on existing pressure ulcers, and failed to apply and use properly the wound vac, all of which caused the pressure ulcers to develop and deteriorate.

    The hospital and nursing home settled well before trial for a combined settlement in the mid-to-high six figures.



    Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia. Sacral Pressure Ulcer Left Hip Pressure Ulcer Sacral Pressure Ulcer Left Hip Pressure Ulcer Hip Pressure Ulcer

 

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